Name: Hannah Knights
Event/Distance: 400mH, 800m, 2k Chase
Achievements: Represented England S in 2016, British Champs qualifier 2016/2017 for 400mH
PBs: 62, 2:17, 7:12
How did you to get into running?
I have always been active, and I loved being a part of all the school sports teams. When I got to secondary school, I started winning local competitions and qualifying for nationals. My PE teacher pushed me to join an athletics club to develop my talent as a long jumper/sprinter/hurdler. I eventually agreed to join my local athletics club at the late age of 14, the year of the London 2012 home Olympics (they really did inspire a generation). My coach encouraged me into 400m hurdles after spotting my ability to hold speed and as well as stamina and hurdling technique. At the time, I wanted to be a heptathlete like Jessica Ennis, so I did a broad range of events at club level. However, when I got to University in 2015, I committed to a focused 400m/400m hurdles group. I made leaps of progress in my first year (2016 season) – I got selected to represent U20 England South, as well as invited to compete at the senior level British Championships. Following the taste of success, I was so keen to push myself to get better and better. I then unknowingly (at the naive age of 18/19), over-trained and severely under-fuelled by body. Some days I would do a monster lactic session in the morning, set by my Loughborough University coach, and then join my home squad in the evening to train again (anyone who knows 400m training will know this is a ridiculous idea). Due to this, I then suffered severely from RED-S (Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport), which was already coming on in 2016 during the ‘best season of my life’ (a very common factor in RED-S – you peak in performance at your lightest weight and then drastically fall, and take a very long time to fully recover). Nearly 3 years on, graduated and much more knowledgeable, I now know how to look after my body, use food as fuel, and treat recovery just as importantly as the actual training. I now really value the enjoyment that comes with running alongside a healthy lifestyle, and I therefore started to train for longer distances (hence the slightly weird transition from a more power-based event).
Describe what a typical training week looks like for you?
Monday – 50-minute cross training (bike/cross/swim) at around 140bpm (easy), circuit training (focus on core and glute work)
Tuesday – Session day! Track or grass session (e.g. 5x400m off 1min, 5 mins jog recovery, 5x200m off 1min / 2 sets of 4x300m off 90 secs and 8mins between sets)
Wednesday – 30-40-minute run at roughly 7:20 min/mile pace, 5×20 second strides working on form & strength/power-based weights programme (Takes around 90 minutes).
Thursday – Threshold session (<175bpm) 3 sets x 3/2/1-minute reps off 1 minute and 4 minutes between sets
Friday – REST DAY
Saturday – Session day! Track, grass or road (at the moment we have been doing lots of virtual racing – 1 mile/1K/3K/5K time trials OR e.g 3,3,2,2,1,1 off 1 min session / 6x3min reps off 90 secs
Sunday – Long run day (7-8 miles / 50-60 minutes). In summer months when competing I would swap this for either a shorter recovery run or some speed work (10x100m off 8 mins with 1mile WU and CD)
What are your goals for the 2021 year?
I want to hit my personal records. Last season (2019), I started to feel like I was finally reaching the standard of performance I was at when I hit my barrier back in 2016/2017 – I got a PB in the 800m by around 2 seconds from back in 2016, and I was only about a second a half away from my 400mH PB. I also set new personal records in events I had never run before – the steeplechase (2k and 3k). I would like to try and beat these times too. Most of all, I am excited to be able to enjoy competing and racing in the friendly club environment again, as well as see how well training is paying off in tangible times!
How would you encourage people to get involved in your sport or keeping active in general?
Two big tips I would give are 1) ‘Every little helps’ and; 2) Changing your lifestyle is key (consistency). For instance, if you wake up and you feel a bit off or lacking in motivation to go out on your run / start your home workout etc, then tell yourself; ‘Do you know what? That is ok’ – go easy on yourself and validate how you feel. 9 times out of 10, as soon as your start (albeit slowly), once endorphins kick in, your blood is flowing and pumping fresh oxygen through your body, the likelihood is that you WILL complete it and feel great about it. The trick is to make fitness/training your friend, not your enemy – be kind to yourself.
About RT Kit
What were your initial thoughts on the kit when it arrived?
First of all, I was very impressed with the service – within 3 days of being contacted, the kit was on my doorstep! Further, when I opened the package, I was very happy with the way each item of clothing was packaged separately in its own frosted white zippy bag (a very professional touch). I also loved the little motivational card that came in the package too – “Your biggest challenge is to show up when your mind is making excuses”. I absolutely loved the first impression of the brand, the clothing looked and felt like it was very high quality.
How does it feel and look once you put your kit on?
The range at RunThrough is great – they cater for the (very) variant an unreliable UK weather. The grey leggings have a lovely snug and figure-hugging feel to them – a real favourite of mine. The t-shirt feels very lightweight and perfect for running on warmer, sunnier days. The jackets and long sleeves are very thick and would be perfect for those colder autumnal days where you still want to wear bright clothing and look good, but you need to keep yourself warm too. The light blue zippy jacket is a great throw over for in between sets on the track/grass and looks great too!
What type of training would you wear this kit for?
I would wear the kit for running and gym work/circuits.